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Our Energy Strategy

Our Energy Strategy is based on three principles: Reduce, Decarbonise, Smart.

Reduce - We are reducing energy demand through better, smarter buildings designed and operated with sustainability in mind:
  • Our mindset is that ‘the cheapest and lowest carbon energy is the energy you don’t need to use’.
  • Creating and applying our own buildings standards, named, ‘The Warwick Standards’, for new buildings, retrofitting existing buildings, and for operations, monitoring & control systems.
  • Delivering training and raising awareness across the University community on reducing energy use.
Decarbonise - We are working towards replacing existing energy supplies with decarbonised alternatives for electricity and heat:
  • Local solar PV providing electricity – we have over 5,500 solar photovoltaic panels so far and plan to install more. Our aim is to build up to 9MW of solar PV capacity, split between 3MW on roofs and 6MW of ground mount systems.
  • Building on our significant investments in thermal energy networks over the years by adding new, large scale, Sustainable Heat Centres capable of supplying low carbon heat from beneath our feet into new and existing heat networks.
Smart - We are making our campus a Smart Local Energy System, building on current practices, and reflecting new ways of thinking about integrated energy systems.
  • This will support our aims to reduce overall energy consumption.
  • The more we reduce and smoothen our peak energy demands, the less we will be required to invest in new low carbon energy supply.
  • Energy storage and demand-side management will make us more resilient and ensure that we can make best use of sustainable energy sources.

Overall, we are looking to deliver a pathway of incremental, “no-regret” projects that will help the University achieve Net Zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 (direct emissions and the energy we buy).

Find more information on ReduceLink opens in a new window, Decarbonise Link opens in a new windowand Smart Link opens in a new windowand related projects at the top of this page.

The Importance of Energy in Carbon Emissions Reduction

In 2019 the University declared a climate emergency and set targets to reach Net Zero carbon emissions. We’re working to achieve Net Zero on direct emissions and the energy we buy by 2030 (Scope 1 and 2) and to get to Net Zero for indirect emissions by 2050 (Scope 3). 

As mentioned in the Way to Sustainable strategyLink opens in a new window, almost all of the University’s Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions come from the energy we consume – primarily heat or electricity. An effective energy strategy, matched with significant resource, is required to meet our ambitious 2030 target.